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A list of questions for discussion of Eugene Ionesco's play Rhinoceros

  1. Who is the protagonist?
  2. What are Berenger's flaws? Do they make him more or less interesting?
  3. Who is the antagonist?
  4. What event throws Berenger's world out of balance? How does he cope?
  5. Why do Jean and Berenger quarrel?
  6. In general, as the play progresses, are the characters who "turn" more or less important to Berenger than the characters who turned earlier?
  7. Do you believe Berenger when he says he will never capitulate?
  8. What is Berenger's character arc? Does he have a journey?
  9. Could Berenger be considered a tragic hero?
  10. What do the rhinos symbolize?
  11. What is the theme of this play?
  12. Does Ionesco's use of comedy distract us from the theme or emphasize it?
  13. What genre of theatre is this play?
  14. How does Rhinoceros demonstrate the qualities of the Theatre of the Absurd?
  15. How difficult would Rhinoceros be to stage? What are the obstacles?
  16. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this play?